How to reduce your utility bills

How to reduce your utility bills

When it comes to keeping your home warm, particularly during the colder months, your utility bills can become a real drain on your finances. It can be tricky to keep a budget in place, and save money on your bills without compromising on the quality of your home life.

With the blustery weather outside, we thought we’d pull together this post on how to save money on your utility bills. Our top tips can help you orchestrate a happy home that’s not just cosy and welcoming, but energy efficient too.

Red standby button off

Change-up your routine

We all know how easy it is to lose track of how much energy we may be wasting, but one quick-fix is to make energy efficiency a part of your daily routine. For example, get into the habit of switching the lights off in a room as you leave and always avoid leaving devices on standby. As well as this, make sure your dishwasher is stacked and full before turning it on, and set your washing machine to a shorter, cooler cycle. Habits like this may seem small, but the savings soon add up.

White radiator

Bleed your radiators

When pockets of air get trapped in your radiators, heating up your home can become much more difficult. Trapped air means you need to keep your heating on for much longer to feel the same results. When you bleed your radiator, you release the air that’s trapped inside and heat can travel through the radiators with ease, thus keeping your home warmer. Bleed your radiators to benefit from lower energy bills.

LED bulb on a black background

Make the switch to LED bulbs

Traditional halogen bulbs have long been the go-to bulb for home-owners. However, increasingly, people are growing wise to their inefficiency. LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than halogen alternatives, and come in a range of colour temperatures and designs. Investing in LED bulbs for your home can see you reduce your utility bills significantly.

Grey radiator on a yellow wall

Add foil to the back of your radiators

The heat from radiators often escapes through the back, only to get absorbed by the walls. To avoid this, and make the most of the heat, add foil to the back of your radiators. This will reflect the heat back into the room, giving you more warmth for your money!

Blankets and cushions on a sofa

Layer up

An old energy saving hack, but still as effective as ever. Instead of turning up your heating at the drop of a hat, add on an extra layer or two or get cuddled up under a blanket. Regularly getting into this habit, as well as encouraging the rest of the household do so too, can help to keep your energy bills under control.

Running an energy efficient home can be a real challenge, particularly when you’ve had a long day out in the cold! However, having to sacrifice luxuries to save on your bills is a long-standing misconception. Small compromises and healthy habits are all you need to keep your utility bills under control.

We hope you’ve found our post useful, and you are keeping warm during the cold weather. What are your energy efficiency hacks? Get in touch and let us know!

The information above was provided by the team at online electrical wholesalers, The Electrical Guys


How we boost our income

How we boost our income | H is for Home

Our web shop and spaces in local antique centres are perhaps the most obvious sources of revenue for our vintage business. However, we also earn part of our livelihood from other online sources. Some methods run into the thousands of pounds per year and others are simply a bit of ‘pin money’. Here’s a run down of the ways in which we boost our income.

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts on the H is for Home Harbinger blog

Sponsored posts are where we make most of our income outside of our vintage shop sales. It’s something that has taken us many years to build up into a viable stand-alone income. We’ve been blogging for a decade, we’ve built up traffic, a following and a reputation in our field and are now able to monetise in certain ways.

Most of the sponsored blog posts we do these days are repeat transactions via long-term relationships with freelance writers and SEO companies. Sometimes though, we seek out opportunities on the ever-increasing number of sites that link up advertisers with bloggers.

Places from which we’ve received sponsored post opportunities include:

Sponsored posts usually take the form of blog posts but they can also be posts via social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re less of a blogger but post frequently on Instagram, Twitter and/or YouTube and have a large following, these are a few of the places where you can sign up for sponsored social media campaigns:

Affiliate schemes

Affiliate marketing infographic

There are lots and lots of these schemes available out there. Some that we’re signed up to have been more successful than others. The user dashboard interface on some are much quicker and easier to navigate than others. This can make a lot of difference to the amount of time it take you to register, build links, input and run performance reports.

We have most success with Skimlinks as they have perhaps the largest range of merchants in the categories about which we write e.g. interiors and food. They also cover many of the merchants found on some of the other schemes.

Bear in mind, payment thresholds vary widely from scheme to scheme. Currently, Skimlinks pays out once your earnings reach £7 / $10 / €8. Whereas with the eBay Partner Network the figure is $25, Affiliate Window is £20 and Rakuten Linkshare £50.

You just need to try them all out to see which one works best for you.


Blog advertising illustration

We get quite a few visitors to our blog who are into décor, gardens, food etc so sometimes we get asked by companies within those niches to host banner ads on our home page in the sidebar.

We also host ads placed via third parties either in our sidebar, within or at the bottom of blog posts or in our comments section. Usually what you do is register via their website, specify the type of content and the size of ads you’re willing to carry, insert some code into your blog template and presto – ads appear! The more traffic your blog receives – and the more people click on the ads – the more revenue you make. Here are the ones with whom we’re signed up.


Online survey illustration

Surveys are just a bit of fun in the evenings when I have one eye on the television. I tend to prefer lots of short surveys or single questions over ones that take 20-30 minutes – but that’s just my personal choice. Again, payment thresholds vary; Opinion Outpost is £2.50, Prolific is £5, Viewsbank is £12.

Smartphone/tablet apps

Apps on a smartphone

I’ve downloaded a few to my iPhone which allow you to scan receipts from select high street shops and supermarkets. Depending on the app, you’re given money off, free (usually food or drink) items or entries to win cash prizes. We don’t ever buy anything that we wouldn’t have bought anyway. At the end of the year, we cash-in and treat ourselves to Amazon vouchers, PayPal payments or a few Christmas-y treats with the money earned.

We hope that you find the information and tips useful. A bit of extra income can be useful – and sometimes invaluable to the small business or the self-employed. Do you have any ways in which to earn money online that you’d like to share with us and our readers?